What to wear for tap dance class | Dancewear Central

What to wear for a tap dance class

Tap is one form of dance that has transcended the ages and remains popular among all today.

Anyone can learn to tap dance, and regardless of your age or fitness level, there’s no right or wrong time to indulge your love of dancing and start tapping away.

Learning, practising and performing tap unlocks so many benefits for dance hobbyists. Its noisy techniques and complex steps have even been proven to improve balance, boost heart health, enhance overall fitness and increase brain function.

What to expect in your first tap class

Like many forms of dance, tap involves the training of not just your body but your musical ear. With tap, you are the music. Those metal taps on your toes and heels can generate countless sounds, rhythms, pitches and dynamics.

Your first tap class will offer an introduction to some of the more basic toe and heel taps, and the sounds they create. All your tap classes will begin with a warm-up to ensure your ankles and lower legs are primed for tap movements and repetitions.

As well as fundamental drills, beginners will learn how to shift their weight to make the most of their new instrument and produce clearer sounds.

After your first class these basic steps will be weaved into routines and new steps added.

The tap dance class dress code

Many studios have specific dress codes for dancewear, but in most cases casual and cool clothing is encouraged.

Here are some guidelines on what to wear for a tap dance class to ensure you can perform comfortably and without any restrictions.


Considering the practicalities is important when deciding on a suitable hairstyle for your tap dance class.

Keeping your hair out of your eyes is key and there are various styles that look good and stay put no matter where your routine takes you.

In ballet a tight bun is favoured, and similarly, in tap the bun hairstyle ensures dancers can perform the most vigorous and demanding moves without their vision becoming impaired by loose hair.

Bantu or Zulu knots, the ponytail veil and the French twist are just some of the hairdos that work for tap dancers, while the braided bun offers a twist on a classic.

Securing your hairstyle with a bun net or additional hair grips is also recommended.


Going for the recommended cool, casual clothing doesn’t necessarily mean choosing something loose-fitting – clothing for tap should be comfortable but not baggy.

As a dancer you must be able to move as easily as possible, and your dance teacher should be able to see your movements clearly throughout the class. Go for a fitted top and trousers, ensuring the trouser length is not too long so it doesn’t get caught under your heel.

You may want to incorporate warm-up clothing into your dancewear wardrobe. Warming up is an essential part of your tap class and will help you avoid injuries. We stock warm-ups for women and warm-ups for girls.


Shopping for tap dance shoes can be difficult, but there are a number of excellent, high-quality products available. Doing your homework is integral to finding the perfect tap shoe and guaranteeing a size, fit, colour, heel and comfort level that works for you. Our first recommendation is to check if your class has a specific tap shoe requirement, often the colour, style and even type of tap can be specified.

When shopping for tap shoes, choose quality. Tap shoes are available in leather, PU and canvas, and come in a variety of styles. Oxfords and Mary Janes are popular choices for many. Colour-wise, black or tan tends to be the most practical option, both in classes and performances.

The sole of your tap shoe must also be considered – soles can be made from both PU or leather, with or without a rubber grip pad, and be either full or occasionally split sole. The latter offers greater flexibility, but it is only recommended for professional tappers!

When buying your first pair of tap shoes, buy in person and get measured professionally. The shoes must be correctly sized to allow a snug, comfortable fit that’s not too tight. At the other end of the scale, opting for tap shoes that are too loose can heighten the risk of ankle injury.

Your tap shoes should provide the support you need. The standard heel size for tap shoes is one to two inches.

Now you know what to wear for your tap dance class, start shopping. We stock thousands of high-quality dancewear products for women, men, girls and boys, including tap shoes.

Find comfort, choice and creativity, whatever your budget, by browsing our website today. Alternatively, please contact our dedicated and friendly team for advice.

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